The stunning progress of generative AI like ChatGPT has many of us awestruck, and as I reported recently, it’s already making waves in the real estate industry. Another use of AI in the built world is in architecture. Architects worldwide are using AI art generators like Midjourney to create dream-like, surreal building designs.
Tim Fu, a London-based architectural designer, teaches the basics of Midjourney architecture in workshops. Much of it involves crafting strong prompts and building a library of terms to use. Fu said different students using the same tech get vastly different results, showing that the AI tool still requires the artistry of the person using it. Other architects use Midjourney to delve into cinematic worlds and free themselves from practical constraints. For example, Hassan Ragab, a computational designer who works in architecture, has used AI to create fascinating images of his hometown of Alexandria, Egypt.
Implementing many of the designs is challenging, and some architects insist that they’re just visions. But others have found ways to incorporate them into real-world applications. Coorlas Architecture is currently working on an open-air pavilion they plan to build in the North Shore area of Chicago inspired by AI. The structure would be made of 3D-printed arches made from adobe. The AI-generated images lacked detail, but they’ve led to new ideas incorporated into the design. Some architects believe the tech could get to the point where it doesn’t just inspire ideas but also models projects. Despite the current limitations, this is just another example of how AI could soon lead to significant changes in the real estate world.